Senior Human Rights Officer, P5

UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan
  • Location
    Khartoum, Sudan
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Jun 17

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located within the Office of Support to Civilian Protection (OSCP) of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).

The position is based in Khartoum and is located in the Office of Support to Civilian Protection (OSCP). The Senior Human Rights Officer reports to the Director, Office of Support to Civilian Protection through the Deputy to the Director.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Human Rights Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Advises on appropriate policies and strategies to better promote and protect human rights in the mission area, including civilian protection, transitional justice, accountability, sexual violence, human rights elements of the peace process;
  • Develops procedures and policies for the effective cooperation with other UNITAMS components and sections for the integration of human rights;
  • Coordinates, supervises and ensures adequate conduct of human rights monitoring activities in compliance with UN methodology and relevant to the observance of the international human rights and humanitarian law in the mission area;
  • Provides strategic guidance to and, as required, leads multidisciplinary teams in the conduct of investigations of human rights and international humanitarian law violations in compliance with UN methodology and standards;
  • Coordinates the mission’s civilian protection efforts and supports implementation of the National Plan for Civilian Protection, including by, inter-alia, mapping and reporting protection risks, early warning, advising UN uniformed personnel on human rights issues during the conduct of their operations, as required;
  • Oversees the coordination of activities to support the work of Women Protection Advisors and Child Protection Advisors and the engagement of the Human Rights component in combating impunity for sexual violence as appropriate;
  • Provides strategic guidance to civil society and authorities on building the protection mechanisms for victims and witnesses of human rights and humanitarian law violations;
  • Oversees the use and maintenance of a database of human rights cases, monitors access rights at regional field level, evaluates quality of data in compliance with established standards;
  • Coordinates the drafting of and reviews a variety of reports, including internal reports, public human rights reports, and regular inputs to Secretary-General reports on the mission and priority thematic issues including under the Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements, ensuring quality and conformity with standards;
  • Provides substantive coordination and management oversight to the OSCP field teams, ensuring a link between field operations, strategic direction and results targeted by the Human Rights component, including in its results-based work-plan;
  • Ensures information on human rights situation in the mission area is readily available to influence decision, strategy and policy-making;
  • Contributes, and where required, coordinates the implementation of the Human Rights Due-Diligence Policy on UN support to non-UN forces, including by coordinating risk assessments and ensuring relevant human rights monitoring information is gathered, as well as advises on support and follow-up for the implementation of the Policy;
  • Provides technical expertise and strategic guidance to OSCP, UNITAMS, and national authorities on the establishment of transitional justice processes-and accountability and reparations mechanisms, as appropriate;
  • Advises national authorities on national legislation relative to transitional justice;
  • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with national authorities, civil society (human rights and victim organizations, and organizations with a focus on transitional justice), and other partners in order to develop and strengthen transitional justice mechanisms and the implementation of transitional justice processes;
  • Ensures compliance with national efforts with UN-developed methodologies and best practices in the areas of transitional justice and rule of law for post-conflict countries;
  • Facilitates the coordination of mission and UNCT actions in support of transitional justice mechanisms and processes;
  • Contributes to the integration of human rights, including the work of the Protection Cluster as appropriate;
  • Represents the human rights component in decision-making fora, as delegated by the Director, OSCP and the Deputy to the Director;
  • Contributes to the integration of gender perspectives/considerations and specific women/girls’ rights issues in all activities, programmes and strategies, including on justice and accountability;
  • Establishes and maintains contact with national authorities, civil society, UN actors and bodies, and other relevant partners, to inform on the human rights and protection situation in the mission area and advice on strategic and policy issues to better protect and promote human rights and protect civilians;
  • Contributes to the planning of human rights training and educational programmes for national officials, representatives of civil society, human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs), National Human Rights Institutions and other national stakeholders, and ensures they are in line with gaps assessed through human rights monitoring and mission priorities;
  • Analyses and synthesizes significant amounts of information of relevance to human rights, including from open sources;
  • Reaches out to various UN actors to collect and analyze information of relevance to human rights;
  • Ensures the effective flow of information and channels human rights analysis to senior management and other sections;
  • Coordinates the implementation of the human rights work plan and evaluates its impact;
  • Serves as team leader with responsibility for carrying out, in consultation with the Director, OSCP, work coordination and administrative functions relating to staffing, planning and budgeting;
  • Devises training needs assessments and training strategies for new or-junior human rights staff and monitors their implementation.
  • Performs other duties as required.



Proven sensitivity to conflict and post-conflict political and social environments and ability to adjust behaviours accordingly; Comprehensive knowledge of human rights principles, international mechanisms and of related concepts, including the protection of civilians, transitional justice, humanitarian action, DDR, legislative, rule of law reforms and conflict-related sexual violence; Good knowledge of institutional mandates, policies, guidelines and methodologies related to UN peace operations and to human rights work, as well as good understanding of issues related to the integration of human rights in UN peace operations; Capacity to maintain effective partnerships with relevant stakeholders to further the mandate of the organization, and to strategically advocate for the integration of human rights in various fora; Sound political judgment, as well as diplomacy, impartiality, and discretion. Ability to produce in-depth analysis of political, ethnic, racial, gender-based, social, economic and other human rights-related problems to assess their impact and to provide concrete strategy recommendations to redress situations; Capacity to lead the continual improvement of human rights-related work processes and ability to apply best management practices to obtain optimum performance of the human rights component; Understanding of the relevance of information collected by various UN actors for human rights analysis; Sound knowledge of the political background and human rights situation in the country or region; Proven representational, negotiation and managerial skills; Understanding of the relevance of information and data management and its applicability to human rights work; Ability to work and act under pressure in a politically and psychologically difficult environment, with a minimum of comfort and in precarious security conditions; Commitment to implement the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of the peace operation and to mainstream gender in all activities of the human rights component; Shows pride in work and in achievements; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; Places team agenda before personal agenda; Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports staff when they make mistakes; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly.

JUDGEMENT AND DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; Gathers relevant information before making a decision; Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; Checks assumptions against facts; Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; Makes tough decisions when necessary.


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law, political science, international relations, social sciences or a related area. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in human rights or a closely related field of which half in human rights is required.
  • Experience in human rights monitoring, reporting and/or investigating violations and engagement for the protection of civilians in conflict or post-conflict context is required.
  • A minimum of three years’ human rights experience in a field operation of an international organisation or non-governmental organisation is required.
  • Experience advocating with senior government representatives for the promotion of and respect for human rights in a conflict or post-conflict environment is required.
  • Prior experience coordinating multi sectoral response to human rights protection concerns including through engaging with military and police for the protection of civilians is required.
  • Experience advising transitional justice institutions and/or working with transitional justice mechanisms is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of Arabic is an advantage.

Application instructions

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